Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Hire at Oliver Russell

Oliver Russell has added a new face to their staff.

Sara Bahnson joins the agency as an Account Coordinator. She is scheduled to graduate from Boise State University this May, and prior to joining Oliver Russell worked with Davies Rourke, and as a Marketing Coordinator for Seidl Home Company.

Congratulations Sara.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Call for Nominations - Silver Medal Award

The Idaho Advertising Federation is accepting nominations for the AAF Silver Medal Award. From a recent email notice:

The AAF Silver Medal Award is presented annually by the Idaho Advertising Federation to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to advertising by furthering the industry's standards, creative excellence, and responsibilities in areas of social concern.

Who is eligible?
  • The Nominee must have achieved success in an advertising agency, for an advertiser or in broadcasting or publishing.
  • He or she shall have shown consistent creativity and have worked to raise the standards of the advertising profession.
  • He or she shall have been active in civic, religious or other groups dedicated to some phase of human or social welfare and must be currently active in advertising.
  • The Nominee need not be a current member of the Idaho Advertising Federation.

How to submit a Nominee:

  • Please submit nominations on 8 1/2" x 11" pages outlining in detail the extent to which the Nominee has met or exceeded the Silver Medal Award Criteria. You are encouraged to expand on the Nominee's experience and contributions to such degree that judges will be fully informed. Please be advised that abbreviated nominations may be dismissed as insufficient to demonstrate the Nominee's true qualifications.
  • Provide the Nominee's name and company affiliation on a cover page with the contact information on the nominator, followed by all pertinent qualifications of the Nominee for consideration on subsequent pages.

Nominations can be submitted by email to Bob Rosenthal, Vice President and General Manager of Journal Broadcast Group, or mailed to:

Idaho Advertising Federation
Silver Medal Award Program
P.O. Box 2691
Boise, ID 83701

Nominations are due no later than Friday, March 14th. For any questions or more information, contact Bob Rosenthal at 208-381-8601.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

REMINDER - Three Courses + Cake Luncheon

Just a reminder that the Three Courses + Cake BAF luncheon is coming up this Thursday, February 28th.

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Client-Side Job Opening - Interactive Art Director

Melaleuca in Idaho Falls has an opening for an Interactive Art Director to help drive initiatives around web properties. Anyone interested should contact Jeff Boag for more information.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Job Opening - Account Executive

On The Idaho Statesman's CareerBuilder website there is a job opening for an Account Executive with a marketing and graphic design firm. Applicants should have at least one year of agency experience.

While there's no mention of the hiring agency in the job posting, a quick search on the fax number provided revealed that this is a job opening with Murie Design Group.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Issues facing agencies

Late last month I posed the question to the readers of the Idaho Ad Agencies blog, "What do you think is going to be the biggest issue facing agencies in Idaho this year?" The responses were varied, as I expected, and ranged from serious to sarcastic.

It's only fair that I share my thoughts on the subject.

I think the biggest issue facing agencies in Idaho (and everywhere else for that matter) this year is talent. More specifically, finding, recruiting, and retaining talent.

Let's look at Boise and the Treasure Valley, for example. While there are over 600,000 people in the Boise MSA, the marketing and advertising industry is still a relatively small community. As such, the pool of available talent is very limited. Add to it the fact that agencies from out of town, and out of state are actively recruiting talent away from the Boise area, and the issue is further magnified (I've seen recruiting happening from a variety of agencies in the past year in Bend, Portland, Seattle, and Boulder, just to name a few).

Also, as evidenced last year, a number of seasoned agency staff, particularly creative staff, strike out on their own for a variety of reasons. That's to be expected, of course, and is not something that's likely to change any time soon.

The questions then, is what is the agency management / ownership doing to compensate for this? Are they on the lookout for new talent every day, or are they only looking when they have a specific position to fill? I'd be willing to say that it's a little of both, and the answer will vary depending on which agency we're talking about.

Of course, it's easy for me to sit here and say that agencies should always be on the lookout for new talent. But along with that commitment comes the time and expenses related to it. I think, however, that those who are willing to make the commitment to finding and recruiting new talent for their shop will be in a good position for continued success.

So, now that I've rambled on for a while, I'll throw the question back out to the audience: What steps can agencies in Idaho take now to position themselves well for the current, and future, war for talent?

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Monday, February 18, 2008

New client at Oliver Russell

According to a report in The Idaho Statesman, Oliver Russell has been named the marketing agency for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Congratulations to the crew over at Oliver Russell. I suspect they're going to be busy over the next year or so.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Hire at Blue541

It's not too often that I get to write about new hires in Northern Idaho, so I have to shine the spotlight that direction when I can...

Sean Murphy has recently joined Blue541 in Coeur d'Alene. Previously, he was a designer with Imagination Graphics in Coeur d'Alene.

Congratulations Sean.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Three Courses + Cake - The Boise Ad Fed Luncheon

The next Three Courses + Cake luncheon from the Boise Advertising Federation will be on Thursday, February 28th and will feature guest speaker Brett Craig - Creative Director at TBWA\Chiat\Day.

This month also sees the luncheon move to a new, larger location. It will be at The Linen Building, at 1402 W. Grove St.

RSVP by email to John Drake, or call 208-336-7511.

Here's the info from the email that was sent out about the event:

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

From our friends and colleagues in Kansas City

Steve Hall over at AdRants made mention of the Kansas City Ad Club's videos that they've put together for their upcoming awards show.

Good stuff, even if the poor old OMNI did have to suffer a painful death at the hands of the ADDY.

So here's where the bar has been set for local awards shows. Yes, I know that Kansas City is a much bigger market than pretty much all of Idaho combined, but that's beside to point. It's been proven time and time again -- it doesn't take a large market to produce great work.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Job Opening - Production Manager

Drake Cooper in Boise has an opening for a Production Manager. This person should have experience in production management and print estimating, according to the job listing. Full details about the job can be found here.
(Courtesy of Craigslist)

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One last reminder

For all of you procrastinators out there, your time is running out. This Friday, February 15th, is the last day that late entries will be accepted for the Rockie Awards.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Surprisingly Quiet Lately

Things have been surprisingly quiet lately over at Oliver Russell. They haven't even posted any new news on their website since September.

Anyone care to shed some light on what's been happening over there lately?

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UPDATE - An open letter to the BAF

As expected, the open letter to the Boise Advertising Federation drew quite a bit of interest, and several responses.

Included in those was one from Edward Moore, President of the BAF, as well as a response from Shane Vaughan, one of the current BAF board members. My thanks go out to both of them for taking the time to respond on behalf of the BAF. Agree or disagree with what they have to say, they deserve credit for responding openly.

If you haven't already, and are so inclined, take some time to read the original post as well as the comments to date. Then, by all means, add your own if you'd like.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

New hires at Drake Cooper

The folks over at Drake Cooper are working hard to fill up their new office space. They've added three new people to their staff:

Javier Barrera has joined the interactive group as a Web Developer. Prior to joining Drake Cooper he was a web developer with Rizen Creative.

Lindsay Shumate has joined the agency as an Account Coordinator. Lindsay was an intern with the agency during the summer of 2007 and is a graduate of the University of Idaho.

Megan Godwin rounds out the list of new hires. Megan is the agency's Brand Ambassador (the person that people first see when they visit the shop) and assists with media buying. Megan is also a past intern, and graduated from the University of Idaho as well.

Congratulations to all.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

An open letter to the Boise Advertising Federation

Over the past few years, I've taken the Boise Advertising Federation to task a number of times, but I've also given them what I'd consider to be a number of free passes. In this case, it's the former.

From the BAF website:

The Boise Advertising Federation is the professional development organization for advertising professional in the Boise metro area.

Now, from the Boise Advertising Federation's Articles of Incorporation:

The purpose or purposes for which the corporation is organized is to provide an educational and fraternal organization for the betterment of the field of advertising. To increase the understanding of advertising and its role among public life. To provide fellowship and culture among persons of the advertising profession.

So, my first question to the current board of the Boise Advertising Federation: What are you doing to provide an educational and fraternal organization for the betterment of the field of advertising? The guest speakers at the occasional luncheon is a good start, but what about those times in between? Where are the regular updates to the website? The newsletters? The articles that members may find interesting? Shouldn't that be part of the "betterment of the field of advertising"?

Second question: How are you increasing the understanding of advertising and its role among public life? There may very well be some outstanding educational programs happening, but unless people know about them, their effectiveness is severely limited. Now granted, I know that the golf tournament last fall raised some money for the Boise State University and University of Idaho advertising clubs, but is that really enough? How often does someone from the Ad Fed go speak to those clubs? How often are those club members invited to events hosted and/or sponsored by the Boise Ad Fed?

Third question: Fellowship and culture among persons of the advertising profession? Now once again I'll give credit to the occasional luncheon or social event as an opportunity for those in the advertising profession to get together, but is that really enough?

Fourth question: Why isn't the Idaho Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America more involved with the Boise Ad Fed, or vice versa? Shouldn't those same public relations professionals that are part of the PRSA be involved in the BAF also?

Now, should you think that this entire post is an attack on the Boise Ad Fed, it isn't. It is just as much the responsibility of the members to get involved in the activities of the organization. That being said, however, the BAF has made it very difficult for anyone who may want to get involved to actually do so. On the current website, which has been under construction for god only knows how long now, there is no way for a potential member or interested party to learn more about the group, other than a phone number and an email address, that based on past experience, rarely gets checked.

Have I ever tried to call the phone number? No. What's the incentive to do so? To try and get involved with a group that doesn't seem to be doing much, given the outward appearance of their site?

Now, let's look at it from another point of view -- that of the prospective talent thinking about moving to Boise. If I were in their shoes, I'd be extremely leery about considering moving to Boise. Again, given the outward appearance of the organization on the website, it doesn't seem that there's anything worth moving to Boise for.

And what about a client looking to hire a Boise agency? Given the fact that the Boise Advertising Federation is supposed to represent the advertising profession, I'd imagine that a potential client would be incredibly put off by the way that the profession is represented locally, and instead would be inclined to look outside of the market to areas such as San Francisco, Portland or Seattle for an agency that can provide the services that they need.

At the end of the day, the Boise Ad Fed should be bringing greater visibility locally, regionally and nationally to the talent that this market has to offer. And there is quite a bit of talent in this market. Instead, though, it seems that the only purpose as of late is to serve as the gatekeeper to any regional or national ADDY awards shows. If you want to enter on a regional or national level, you must enter locally first.

I'm not alone in these concerns about the BAF. I've received comments from others expressing many of these same concerns. And again, my intention is not to lay blame on the organization, or lash out at them publicly. But these are valid concerns, and they're being expressed by BAF members.

So, my challenge to you, the reader, is this:

If you're a member of the Boise Ad Fed, get more involved. Call up the current President and ask what the group has been up to. Attend an event. Ask for more frequent email updates. Poke and prod the leadership into action, if need be.

If you're an officer of the Boise Ad Fed, don't wait for your members to poke and prod you into action. Be proactive. Send out updates on the Rockie Awards, brag about work that members, and member agencies have done recently. Get more people involved. Make the Boise Advertising Federation, and the website in particular, into the hub of activity that it deserves to be.

Also, be sure to take a look at Bart Cleveland's take on advertising organizations over at the Ad Age Small Agency Diary.

And of course, everyone is welcome to tell me that I'm wrong, right, or just completely full of shit. Comment away.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Watersports? This time of year?

Well, yes. Actually, in order to be ready for the 2008 season, the work has been going on for some time now.

More specifically, Imagination Graphics in Coeur d'Alene has been working on several wakboarding-related projects, including all of the design work for Helium, which offers an array of wakeboarding vests, handles, ropes and such.

Their latest designs have been featured on The Wakeboarding Report, and I'm sure they'll be popping up elsewhere soon.

While the 2008 website isn't active yet (gotta get on that one folks, its show season), they have made the entire catalog available online. Overall, a very good job with the design.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Are changes in the air?

A couple of recent job opening have got me wondering -- are changes in the air?

More specifically, within the past week I've seen an opening with the Idaho Lottery for a Marketing Director, and a Marketing Manager for the Boise Hawks Baseball Club.

Now the realist in me says that I'm reading way too much into things, but I have to at least pose the question. I've seen it happen entirely too many times in the past -- a new marketing manager or director joins an organization, has their own opinions and personal favorites as to which agency they'd like to work with, and ends up yanking the account from the incumbent agency.

Will that happen with the Idaho Lottery? Doubtful. Within the past year they went through the entire RFP process and renewed their relationship with Drake Cooper. If I remember correctly, though, there were a few stipulations in the RFP guidelines that could open it back up again -- one of which was a change in agency ownership / management or a change in leadership at the Lottery office (Disclaimer - I'm going off of memory here, so I could very well be mistaken).

The Boise Hawks? Well, that's another story all together. Since the opening is not for the Director of Marketing, but rather someone that reports to the Director, it doesn't seem as likely that this account would change hands, but then again, you never know.

So, the moral of the story -- if you're the incumbent, by all means don't just sit back and expect business as usual. If you want to keep them, you're going to have to defend your accounts virorously. And on the flip side, if you're looking to pick off one of these accounts, this may be your best shot at doing so.

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